Politics, Religion, and Feminine Economic Empowerment in Africa 3


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Generally, one can describe Politics or Political affairs as winning and keeping governmental control. A politician is a person whose business is politics, one who has been elected to a position in government. Someone skilled at dealing with people in a way advantageous to themselves or using a system to their advantage. (Longman Dictionary). Politics to this presenter is an exciting and challenging game of stakeholders in the nation to elect democratic leaders at various levels of governance. In politics, human nature is chronicled and x-rayed for others to view. Democracy berths only in politics, so it is the experience and practice of democracy. Politics is about the acquisition of power and the use of such power. The Oxford Dictionary of Words defines politics as “matters concerned with acquiring or exercising power, within a group or an organization .”Nkem Onyekpe (1998:16) defines politics as: “The struggle for power which itself is the authority to determine or formulate and execute decisions and policies, which the society must accept…it is the struggle for power of governance, especially executive authority.


According to the words of Sri Shantananda Sarasvati (1978). “religions are a set of rules which arise out of certain situations, based upon the physical, intellectual, and emotional parts of human nature, the society, the nation and time.” Religion, in a sense, describes a system based on belief in a creator, which is rules-based and exists at an appropriate time and place to satisfy the people’s deepest needs. Religion provides an ethical framework from which human beings can lead their lives. Emile Durkheim (1997:7) defines Religion as: “A unified system of beliefs and practices which unite into one moral community called a church all those who adhere to them.” Religion is so complex that there is no unified definition. It is impossible to answer ‘What is Religion?’ without resorting to personal opinion. Humans’ pre-existing values and perceptions color the attempts to answer the question “What is a religion?'” Many scholars from various disciplines have attempted to answer the question in as objective a manner as possible. Religion is a complicated and rich human phenomenon, and it is studied by academicians from many disciplines: historians, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and theologians.


There is no universally accepted definition of Religion, but views on nature and theories of Religion give various definitions. American heritage dictionary defines Religion as the belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe and as a personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship. Religion describes a system based on belief in a creator that is rules-based, which exists at an appropriate time and place to satisfy the people’s deepest needs.

Politicization of Religion:

The politicization of Religion and Religionization of Politics are two sides of the same coin. In other words, the terminologies speak of the same perspective. Political and Religious leaders use politics and religions as potent tools of deceits for power. In Africa, it is evident that political governments have aided one Religion against others and given the undue advantage that breeds conflicts and disunity. In several ethnic communities, politics and Religion in the traditional cultural setting are intertwined and directly influence each other. Certain acts are directly recognized as universally and unconditionally wrong. Falsehood, for example, is known to be wrong, not from its incompatibility with social wellbeing but its very nature. Honesty is seen as right in itself and not because of its beneficial economic and social results.

Continuation tomorrow ……..

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